A 15-year-old Howard High School student accused of bringing a gun to school in November has been sentenced to a year in a youth detention center and four years on probation.
She pleaded guilty in Bibb County Juvenile Court on Thursday morning to possession of a weapon on school grounds, participation in a criminal street gang, possession of a pistol by an underaged person and disrupting public schools.
The girl hung her head and cried as the judge spoke to her before imposing the sentence. The Telegraph is not naming her because of her age.
She said she didn’t plan on shooting anyone with the gun, intending only to threaten a boy who had pushed her the previous day.
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“Showing people a gun is using it,” Chief Juvenile Court Judge Tom Matthews told her.
Prosecutor Mike Smith said the .38-caliber handgun was loaded with five rounds.
“Thank goodness it didn’t go off,” he said.
The school principal received a tip Nov. 5 that the girl had a gun at school. The school was placed on lockdown while campus police officers searched for the gun.
Campus police found the gun in a 14-year-old girl’s locker. Last month, that girl was sentenced to 30 days on home detention, two years on probation and 80 hours of community service.
Smith said the 15-year-old girl’s school disciplinary record contains a lengthy history of offenses, including fighting, dress-code violations, disrupting class and spitting on another student.
She’s been referred to Joseph Neel Academy, an alternative school, twice, he said.
Smith said the girl was expelled from Georgia public schools after the Nov. 5 episode.
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.